Welcome to another installment of TDGX Transactions, BP’s weekly series providing fantasy owners with an inside look at The Dynasty Guru Experts League (TDGX), a 20-team (40-man roster) 5×5 rotisserie dynasty league. It is the literal embodiment of the phrase “deep dynasty.” It’s also populated by some of the most talented fantasy baseball analysts and competitors on the planet. In addition to taking an in-depth look at each week’s TDGX free agent acquisitions ($100 FAAB budget per team with zero dollar bids allowed) we will also break down every major trade, with perspectives from both sides of the deal.
With only four major swaps going down, it was a rather light weekend on the TDGX front, but there’s still plenty of ground to cover on each of these deals. The similarities between each of these trades are striking. Not only do they feature teams seemingly on opposite ends of their respective contention cycles, swapping veterans for prospects (and vice versa), but also the inclusion of several prospects (Wall, Pentecost and McMahon) who could develop into significant fantasy contributors in a league of this size down the road. Let’s dive right in.
Tom Trudeau and Craig Glaser (MLB.com/STATS Inc.) acquire:
Carlos Santana 1B Cleveland
Al Melchior (CBS) acquires:
“Nobody in fantasy baseball loses more value in standard leagues than Carlos Santana, an OBP monster, who hasn’t hit above .231 since the 2013 campaign. That may be why we were able to acquire him for a pitching prospect we nabbed on waivers two weeks back, a speed-specialist and a good-not-great pick. I’ll take the steady power and slide him into a UTIL spot.
Flaherty was dropped too soon, in my opinion, due to unsightly ERA at High-A, where he is surely among the youngest pitchers in the league. He’s a command-first pitcher with first-round pedigree in an organization that turns those types into excellent fantasy pitchers. It may have helped for optics that the Cardinals system is quite shallow, considering he ranked highly on organizational top 10 lists.
Jankowski has “double plus” speed and earned two starts over the weekend atop the Padres lineup. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a look with John Jay providing prototypical “meh” stats. He’ll need to get on base, because Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe loom at Triple-A.” –Tom Trudeau
“Mired towards the bottom half of the standings and with a weak farm system, I finally decided to make the first move towards a rebuild. Santana was not going to be a difference maker for me this year or beyond, and when I had the opportunity to get Flaherty, it was time to move him. Though he is having a rough start to his season in the Florida State League, Flaherty is young for the level and may still be adjusting to pitching full-time after having been a two-way player in high school. My main interest in Jankowski was to maintain depth after losing a position player in Santana, but I also get the potential for steals if he can find more playing time in the Padres' outfield.” –Al Melchior
Craig Goldstein (Baseball Prospectus) acquires:
Tom Trudeau and Craig Glaser (MLB.com/STATS Inc.) acquire:
Jaime Garcia SP St. Louis
“I think Wall is a big fat buy in dynasty. He's struggled at High-A, but he's only 20-years-old. I ranked him as a top 250 asset in the preseason, which may have been a tad aggressive, but even if you don't love Wall the player, he's such a good fantasy prospect due to the wheels, the organization and the opportunity. DJ “LameWho” isn't good, folks.
Pentecost, a 2014 first-round pick who has endured multiple shoulder surgeries, was a zero-dollar waiver add and no doubt some owners did not notice that he had returned from injury this week. Craig will take a look and see if he is tracking to be a rich-man's JT Realmuto, else he'll send him packing. Garcia has no health problems at all and I look forward to many years of 250 innings.” –Tom Trudeau
Not only is Tom admirably pursuing the single-season transactions record (which is great for the purposes of this column) but also I’m pretty sure he’s joking about the Garcia part.
J.P. Breen (Baseball Prospectus) acquires:
D.J. Short (Rotoworld) acquires:
“McMahon was my favorite position prospect, so I tried everything to keep from including him in this deal. In the end, though, this trade brought me too much value to refuse. Villar has been unleashed on the base paths and has shown enough skill at the plate that he'll likely be the team's everyday third baseman once the Orlando Arcia gets promoted to the big leagues. It also allows me to move Jose Iglesias to the bench. I didn't need two more closers, as it gives me four, but it provides flexibility for the summer trading season. It also gives me some depth if Cishek finally realizes that he's not actually very good.” –J.P. Breen
“With my rebuild in full effect, I have been shopping Jeffress and Rodriguez around for the past couple of weeks. K-Rod is moving toward the end of his career and Jeffress is no sure thing to close all season, so I felt it was a priority to trade these guys as soon as possible. The same goes with Villar, who has been red-hot recently. Once again, the goal was to add to my growing list of quality young bats. McMahon has gotten off to a very slow start with Double-A Hartford, but should 30 games or so really be enough to change what everyone thought about him a month ago? I’m not sure about that. Sure, he strikes out a bunch, but there’s still big-time power potential from the left side. That’s pretty enticing in Coors Field, though the Rockies obviously don’t have an opening at third base right now. As for Doolittle and Singleton, they are just flyer-types. If Doolittle ends up getting saves again, I’ll try to flip him to a contender. I’m not counting on anything out from Singleton, but he’s still just 24 years old, and I can afford to be patient during my rebuild. No big deal if he continues to disappoint. This deal was mostly about McMahon for me.” –D.J. Short
Brent Hershey and Jock Thompson (BaseballHQ) acquire:
Hunter Renfroe OF San Diego
2017 2nd Round Pick
Tom Trudeau and Craig Glaser (MLB.com/STATS Inc.) acquire:
“I like Hunter Renfroe and his opportunity to be a regular in the near future. He strikes me as someone that may be underrated for this format in particular, because his lack of star upside and appealing park is offset by the utility of having every day players in every spot in the lineup. I acquired him and Drew Pomeranz only a week prior in exchange for Ryan Madson, Evan Gattis, and Adam Ottavino, but I'll cash in on him to get Familia.” –Tom Trudeau
“We traded from a position of strength to fill a need by acquiring a nearly ready prototypical corner outfield prospect with power, who seems to be making progress in cutting down on his strikeouts. He can still stand to improve his walk rate, but if Renfroe continues to do anything close to what he’s doing now in Triple-A El Paso (.310/.342/.572 with 22 extra-base hits), we’d be surprised if he isn’t seeing semi-regular at-bats in PETCO (no longer the HR-killer it once was) by some time this year. He should get plenty of opportunities to become a major-league regular from then through 2017-18. We weren’t actively looking to deal Familia, but in our rebuild situation closers are a luxury, and the addition of a pick swayed us. We retained Osuna, and our informed wishful thinking has Trevor May and Cam Bedrosian sliding into that role soon enough. Onward and upward.” –Jock Thompson
TDGX FAAB ACQUISITIONS
“Look, testing positive for PEDs and then breaking your hand while punching a teammate isn't the best way to start a career, there's no way around that. But Kopech dazzled when he was on the mound last season and routinely profiled as a back-of-the-top-100 dynasty league prospect headed into 2016 (before the bad punch). Pitching prospects are inherently risky, but at $10 I'm more than happy to add someone of Kopech's pedigree and talent in a league that rosters 20-plus minor leaguers. Honestly, I was surprised to see him dropped last week.” –Ben Carsley
Admit it, you thought there was going to be Rougned Odor reference somewhere in there, right?
Dylan Cozens $10 (Brent Hershey & Jock Thompson, BaseballHQ)
“Cozens is off to a great start at Double-A Reading, crushing 10 home runs already. While his home park is a veritable bandbox, Cozens’ power to all-fields and cleaned-up swing puts him on the early-season pop-up list. There’s some swing-and-miss in his massive frame, but the ball jumps off his bat and his pitch recognition skills continue to make strides.” –Brent Hershey
Aristides Aquino $10 (George Bissell, Baseball Prospectus)
“The 22-year-old possesses more physical tools than you’re local hardware store, but an extremely poor approach at the plate (356:98 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 367 career games) has limited him from tapping into his immense upside over the past few years. It’s taken him awhile, but he might be starting to finally figure it out. A film session resulting in a swing adjustment has served as the catalyst behind a recent hot streak in which he’s torn the cover off the ball. Currently riding a seven-game hit streak, Aquino is slashing .239/.318/.435 with six home runs (just one less than he had in nearly twice as many games last season) and four stolen bases in 154 plate appearances at High-A Daytona. He’s still light years away, but if it all somehow comes together, he’s going to be worth the wait in deeper dynasty leagues.” –George Bissell
Tommy Joseph $8 (J.P. Breen, Baseball Prospectus)
“This is pure speculation. The 24-year-old was hitting .347/.370/.611 with six homers in Triple-A and was a former second-round pick in the 2009 Draft. He's battled injuries and is no longer a catcher; however, he'll maintain catcher eligibility in CBS this year. Can't complain about that with Gomes/Wieters struggling. Plus, if he somehow rakes in the big leagues, I'll get to tout myself as a #fantasyexpert, rather than just someone who took a stab in the dark and got lucky, which is really the whole point of this thing.” –J.P. Breen
Ryan Cordell $8 (Brent Hershey & Jock Thompson, BaseballHQ)
“A bit like Cozens, Cordell is in the midst of a mini-breakout at Double-A and also has 10 home runs so far. The Texas system will make it a bit more difficult for him to find regular work in the outfield at the major-league level right now, and some of his 1.129 OPS is indeed due to a .409 BABIP. He’s played some corner infield in his past, and so far has an almost even split of the three OF positions.” –Brent Hershey
Slashing a robust .304/.451/.598 with 18 extra-base hits (seven home runs), 30 walks and just 33 strikeouts, Ockimey is tearing up the South Atlantic League this spring. The 20-year-old first baseman will undoubtedly be overshadowed by the Red Sox plethora of dynamic prospects moving forward, but his stock has risen exponentially with his performance to open up the 2016 campaign. If you’re looking for a deep dynasty prospect on the rise, this is your target.
“McCarthy was dropped last week, and while I completely understand that he's a massive question mark moving forward, my ability to drop Robbie Erlin, who as of last week had to have surgery, for a starter that might have a chance to contribute in 2016 was a no-brainer. While I'm still not sure that McCarthy's ERA will match his sub-3.00 xFIP from 2014 & 15, the strikeouts alone make him valuable in a league this deep, with the hope for some ERA upside.” –Luke Chatelain
“There were some interesting if not spectacular potential additions on the waiver wire this week, but with my addition of two prospects last week (Rangers outfielder Eric Jenkins and Diamondbacks starter Cody Reed), Orioles starter Tyler Wilson holding his own and my unwillingness to wave the white flag on Jonathan Niese and Kendall Graveman, I had very little wiggle room to add anyone.
Nick Hundley had to be placed on the disabled list and to make room to replace him without dropping my Coors catcher, my Coors Field pitcher, Jorge De La Rosa (currently on the disabled list), had to be released. My two targets were Iannetta and Bobby Wilson and I was able to win the bid for Iannetta.” –Chris Mitchell
Tony Kemp $2 (George Bissell, Baseball Prospectus)
Mitch Keller $2 (George Bissell, Baseball Prospectus)
Ronald Torreyes $2 (George Bissell, Baseball Prospectus)
Anthony Gose $2 (George Bissell, Baseball Prospectus)
Yusmeiro Petit $2 (George Bissell, Baseball Prospectus)
“Back in 2013, Kemp closed out a stellar four-year career at Vanderbilt by winning the SEC Player of the Year Award and became the Astros fifth-round selection just a few weeks later. Over the past three years, Kemp has hit .303/.394/.403 with 101 stolen bases in 361 games. He’s also walked nearly as many times (190) as he’s struck out (201) in his minor-league career. In case you’re wondering why you haven’t heard much about the 24-year-old from a fantasy perspective, it’s because he’s only 5-foot-6 and doesn’t hit for power. Sound familiar?
Just kidding. Obviously, he’s not Jose Altuve. Let’s make that clear. However, Kemp is a prototypical leadoff man with the ability to make something happen on the base paths with his speed. There are glaring deficiencies in his game, most notably the lack of any semblance of power and he’s below average defensively despite his versatility. If he excels in his first taste of the major leagues with Houston, there’s a strong possibility he’s leading off for another organization at this time next season, which is exactly why I’m rolling the dice here.” –George Bissell
“I put in bids on Kopech and Cozens only to fall short, but I was still happy to end up with Diaz and Benoit. Both are in situations where they could end up getting save chances down the line. Diaz has been great since being demoted to Triple-A and nobody has really established themselves in the closer role for the Reds. Steve Cishek has blown a couple of save chances recently and Benoit appears on track to return from shoulder inflammation soon. He’ll presumably move into a set-up role, which leaves him a step away from replacing Cishek if the struggles continue.” –D.J. Short
“Bonifacio has long had a hold on my heartstrings as the burlier brother of the much more famous Emilio. Jorge had a couple of rough seasons recently, but entered the year at only 23 years old and in Triple-A. He's currently slashing .321/.368/.560 for Omaha, while the Royals are giving starts to Paulo Orlando and Raymond Fuentes. On purpose. Look, it's a zero-dollar flier, but I think there's a low-end regular ceiling for Bonifacio, and if he reaches it, that's a huge profit for me.” –Craig Goldstein
Ryan Butcher $0 (Jeff Zimmerman, FanGraphs)
Keon Broxton $0 (James Anderson, Rotowire)
Williams Perez $0 (Greg Wellemeyer, Baseball Prospectus)
Max Muncy $0 (Ben Carsley, Baseball Prospectus)
Will Harris $0 (James Anderson, Rotowire)
Scott Kingery $0 (Bret Sayre, Baseball Prospectus)
“I grabbed Kingery this week because I had an open minor league spot and he has some usable speed. With solid plate discipline stats at High-A and likely middle infield eligibility, he could turn into a top-150 fantasy prospect by the end of this season.” –Bret Sayre
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